‘Evening with Lincoln’ at museum; Dearborn Historical Museum fundraiser May 28

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Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Historical Museum
Fred Priebe, as President Abraham Lincoln, won the Association of Lincoln Presenters Best Abraham Lincoln award in 2006. His wife, Bonnie Priebe, won the Best Mary Todd Lincoln award in 2001. That same year, the Priebes won for Best Lincoln Couple.

DEARBORN — The Dearborn Historical Museum and Fred and Bonnie Priebe will present “Who Would Jack Vote For?” a historical presentation of President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln at 7 p.m. May 28 at Henry Ford Centennial Library.

Tickets are $5, and are available at the museum, 915 S. Brady, or online at thedhm.com/lincoln. Proceeds will benefit the museum and its educational programming. HFCL is at 16301 Michigan Ave.

For more information, call 313-565-3000.

The Priebes have provided historical presentations together since 1996. It is their mission to provide historically accurate and entertaining presentations catered to each setting.

The HFCL presentation coincides with the museum’s latest exhibit: Dearborn in the Civil War. This year marks the sesquicentennial of the year 1864 and the program will cover the 1864 election campaign with its twists and turns.

The event will include a question-and-answer session with the Lincolns — played by the Priebes — as well as a raffle.

The Priebes take what they do seriously and continuously research the social and political habits of the time period they present, said Craig Hutchison, museum assistant curator. They have been public school teachers in Michigan since 1969.

Fred Priebe has been a role player at The Henry Ford since 1987. It was there that a Civil War re-enactor made the suggestion that he do a Lincoln impression. Since Lincoln is Fred Priebe’s favorite president, he already had several books on the subject and had talked about him a good deal at the Logan County Courthouse in Greenfield Village.

Bonnie Priebe started studying about Mary Todd Lincoln and has immersed herself in the fashions of the day which fit right in with her fashion design major in college. She owns several Civil War-era Godey’s Ladies books and designs dresses based on her study.

The couple’s Lincoln library grows continually as they strive to learn about the Lincolns and their times so that their presentations can be as accurate as possible, Hutchison said. Their style of presenting is first person. They engage their audiences in their presentations making the program as fun and educational as possible for the audience members, he said.

They speak to a variety of audiences from kindergarten to college, civic organizations, churches, Civil War groups, festivals, historical societies, nursing homes, monument dedications, etc. They have portrayed the Lincolns in Michigan; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Wisconsin; Minnesota; Kentucky; Illinois; Georgia; Indiana; Washington, D.C.; Canada; Australia; France; and England.

The Priebes won the award for the Best Lincoln Couple of 2001 presented by the Association of Lincoln Presenters at its annual convention held that year. Bonnie Priebe won the award for the Best Mary Todd Lincoln that same year. Fred Priebe won the award for Best Abraham Lincoln of 2006.

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